Figures of speech are words or phrases that possess a separate meaning from their literal definition. They are also called rhetorical figure.

  1. Personification is used to make things or innate objects behave or act like human beings.

Examples: Weakness, fear, and hopelessly died.

Strength, power, and courage were born.


  1. Hyperbole is also known as exaggeration. It is used to give more emphasis or intensity to one’s expression of thoughts or feelings.

Example: The entire humanity will die if people stop the pursuit of education.


  1. Irony refers to use of words or expressions that actually mean the opposite of the intended message. Sometimes it is called sarcasm.

Example: Being caught in the war can be the most pleasing experience of all.


  1. Metonymy is a figure of speech that uses a word to replace or substitute another word to which it is similar or associated.

Example: The wise saying, “The pen is mightier than sword” was true.

The word pen is substitute for words/ knowledge, while sword represents blood or war.


  1. Oxymoron is used to convey a special meaning through a combination of words that have direct opposite meanings.

Example: There was a deafening silence in the hall as the President delivered his speech.


  1. Paradox is a combination of two opposite ideas. At first, these contradicting ideas may not make any sense, but if analyzed well, they actually convey a meaningful idea.

Examples:  We realize the importance of light when we see darkness.

We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.


  1. Euphemism refers to a pleasant and socially acceptable expression used to replace or avoid unpleasant or offensive ones.

Example: many people passed away because of the endless wars between nations. (Instead of saying “Many people died or killed.”)


  1. Apostrophe is a figure of speech that directly addresses a dead, absent, or abstract idea as if it can hear or understand what the speaker is saying.

Example: Oh Education! Please save my land from the perils of war and injustice.


Activity: Write the figure of speech used in the following lines or sentence.

  1. Growing up ignorant is as pathetic as dying defenseless in a war.
  2. The book stared at me as if it has something valuable to say.
  3. The White House has promised to intensify its campaign against terrorism.
  4. The pursuit of equality through war is a journey within a never-ending maze.
  5. Even people with special needs deserve to acquire good education.
  6. For a war victim like me, there is always hope in hopelessly and fearlessness in fear.
  7. Whenever I recall the war, I remember tons of mixed bittersweet memories of love, danger, faith, pain sacrifices, and hope.
  8. Marina’s voice of courage was heard all throughout the world.
  9. Freedom of poverty is rainwater that pours on a barren land.
  10. Oh war- ruthless, merciless, cruel war! When will you end?
  11. Given a chance, I’d like to experience war over and over again.
  12. War veterans die for freedom and live forever.